Getting Your Toddler to Help You Clean Up

A mother or fathers job never seems to be over, especially when they have young children. There is a constant running back and forth helping and assisting children and whatever tasks that need to be done around the house. You look around and toys are always left out for you to trip over first, then pick up. It’s time to come up with a plan before it gets worse. This is the time to teach your toddler to help mommy or daddy clean up around the house. The sooner the better.

Start with small tasks


When it is time to pick up toys around the house, tell your toddler that it is time to clean up. Have a designated place for toys to go, this can be in a plastic box or even a wooden on. Place it in the middle of the room that is being cleaned. In a kid friendly voice, get your toddler involved. You can start by saying “Wow, look at this mess. I wonder who is going to help me clean this up?” While you are placing the clean up box down, you can even start singing the song, “Clean up, clean up, everybody everywhere”, or something similar. Have a pleasant and inviting voice while talking about the mess. Pick up some of the toys and put them in the container while still using positive coaxing or singing. Ask your child to please pick up a specific toy and thank him/her when he places them in your hand or in the container.

If your toddler refuses to help you clean up, prepare a consequence for not helping. A positive consequence may to place your child in timeout or take a treasured item or activity from them. First warn your child only once of the consequence and how long it will last if he does not help clean up. Follow through with the consequence if he still will not help. After the time out session, try the first steps all over again. You may have to change the consequences from time to time. Your child will get the hint. Children learn best by example. Give a positive example to your child by picking up your own personal belongings when you are finished with them. You can even make comments out loud about putting your things away where they belong. Model behavior goes a long way. Your child is sure to follow your good example.

Getting a negative answer

If your toddler refuses to help you clean up, prepare a consequence for not helping. A positive consequence may to place your child in timeout or take a treasured item or activity from them. First warn your child only once of the consequence and how long it will last if he does not help clean up. Follow through with the consequence if he still will not help. After the time out session, try the first steps all over again. You may have to change the consequences from time to time. Your child will get the hint. Children learn best by example. Give a positive example to your child by picking up your own personal belongings when you are finished with them. You can even make comments out loud about putting your things away where they belong. Model behavior goes a long way. Your child is sure to follow your good example.

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